Antipas cautious of Lesotho

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter

WARRIORS’ coach Joey Antipas says his players will not attack like ‘Red Indians’ when they take on Lesotho in the second-leg of the final Chan qualifier against Lesotho in Maseru on Sunday.

Zimbabwe carry a seemingly healthy 3-1 lead courtesy of goals by Wellington Taderera and a brace by Prince Dube scored in the first-leg played at the National Sports Stadium last month.

The winner will qualify for the 2020 Chan finals to be held in Cameroon from January to early February.

“We will not go out in full attack like Red Indians, no; we won’t do that because we are playing away against a good side in front of their home fans,” said Antipas shortly before the team flew out of Harare to Johannesburg. 

The Warriors will complete their journey by road to Maseru today.

Antipas named his 18-man squad dominated by Highlanders’ players. Bosso contributed five players, goalkeeper and vice-captain Ariel Sibanda, defenders Peter Muduhwa and McClive Phiri, hardworking midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku and in-form striker Prince Dube.

Also making the travelling party is one of the 2019 Soccer Star of the Year favourites Joel Ngodzo of Caps United as well as FC Platinum midfield enforcer Kelvin Madzongwe.

Leading scorer with five goals, Dube will again be expected to lead the Warriors’ attack on Sunday.

“We have to be cautious in our approach, manage the game by sitting back and then getting them on counter attacks. Our objective is clearly to make it to the finals and how we do it will not matter this time around,” said Antipas.

Since the inception of the tournament in 2009, Zimbabwe has missed out only once when the Chan finals were held in Morocco last year.

Their best finish was fourth when the tournament was hosted by South Africa in 2014 after losing 0-1 to Nigeria in the third-place play-off. Tunisia emerged champions after hammering Angola 3-0 in the final.

The Warriors have failed to make it beyond the group stages of the three finals they qualified for.

 Warriors’ traveling squad 

Goalkeepers: Simbarashe Chinani (Dynamos) Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders)

Defenders: Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Frank Makarati (Ngezi Platinum) Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), MacClive Phiri (Highlanders), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken inn)

Midfielders: Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum) Tichaona Chipunza (Chicken Inn) Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders) Ralph Kawondera (Triangle) Joel Ngodzo (Caps United) Valentine Kadonzvo (Chicken Inn) Phenias Bamusi (Caps United)

Strikers: Prince Dube (Highlanders) Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn) Wellington Taderera (Black Rhinos)